All posts by outlandertours

The Outlander effect

OUTLANDER has been cited as helping bring a “phenomenal” boost to tourism in Scotland as new figures show an increase in visits.

Malcolm Roughead, Visitscotland chief executive, said the interest in film and television series locations like Outlander, shot and set in Scotland, has helped the rise in summer visitor numbers last year.
Outlander tours of Scotland

Outlander tours of film locations in Scotland

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Visit the Kelpies with Airport taxis Falkirk

Edinburgh tours

five castles tour Scotland

Falkirk tours , visit the Falkirk Wheel

Scottish Highlands tour visit the amazing scenery of Scotland

 




He said: “We knew anecdotally that tourism businesses across Scotland had a good summer in 2017, but it is absolutely phenomenal to see just how much growth there was compared to the same period in 2016 with overseas visits up by 14.6 per cent and domestic visits up by 10 per cent from July to September.

HeraldScotland: Outlander Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) (39539207)

“Such exceptional increases across visits and spend can be attributed to a myriad of different factors which have worked together to create a perfect blend for Scottish tourism.

“Key influences include increased capacity on air routes from countries all across the world, favourable exchange rates and of course the Outlander effect which has had a huge impact with many coming to experience the land that inspired the popular books and TV series.”

The head of the national tourism agency went on: “More than that, we are noticing a real uplift in the staycation market with less people flying out of the UK for the first time in a number of years, meaning many are simply getting out and about exploring their own country.

HeraldScotland: Outlander stars: Scottish weather adds to the atmosphere

“This is a real testament to the hard work of our tourism industry which is constantly innovating and investing to ensure visitors receive not only a quality experience, but a memorable one.

Pioneering partnerships have been at the heart of Visitscotland marketing activity including key collaborations with TripAdvisor, booking.com and E4, ensuring we reach more potential visitors globally in new and exciting ways.

Mr Roughead said: “Our focus on digital marketing and unique PR campaigns including an ambitious YouTube influencer campaign has been very successful, with Scotland punching above its weight on a global platform.

HeraldScotland: outlander filming collage.png

“Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure the sector remains a priority for Scotland for many years to come.”

 

Overseas figures from Office of National Statistics show 11.6m UK visits and domestic tourism statistics of 3.5m visits from the Great Britain Tourism Survey from July to September last year.

Photo tours of Scotland

Our photo tours of Scotland feature visits to the top scenic locations in the Highlands and Edinburgh .

Photo tour of Rosslyn Chapel and Scott’s View , Melrose , one of the most scenic views in Scotland .
Entrance tickets are not included.

Price £175

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Outlander tours

Tours start at 10 am . Our private group tours take up to 4 people to three Outlander filming locations. We also offer bespoke private tours with the option of choosing your own itinerary .

Tours start from locations in Edinburgh or Glasgow .
Normal pickup point is Edinburgh/ Glasgow city centre , your hotel or the airport .

Other pickup points can be arranged , subject to an additional fee .

Itinerary

On this tour we visit various locations used for filming the hit series Outlander. Based on the best selling novels by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander is filmed in a number of locations in castles and towns in  central Scotland.

The first location on this Outlander tour is the historic town of Falkland. The town is the setting for episode one where Frank and Claire Randall come to Scotland on holiday. Falkland Palace is a historic building and shops and  features can be recognised , including the town square fountain where Frank encounters Jamie’s ghost watching Claire through the window.

doune castle outlander

Doune Castle was built in  1400 for the first Duke of Albany and provides the setting for Castle Leoch in Outlander. It was also the set for Winterfell in Game of Thrones and Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

blackness castle , outlander tour

Blackness Castle goes back to 1440 . The castle provides the setting for Fort William, as the original fort no longer exists.

The castle is long and narrow because of the shape of the rock on which it is situated and it is sometimes called ‘ the ship that never sailed ‘ . It guards the bay at Blackness and is only a few miles from Linlithgow Palace . The first castle was built in the middle of the 15th century by Sir George Crichton , Earl of Caithness , a member of one of the most powerful families in Scotland . King James II acquired Blackness in 1453 when he annexed the lands of the Crichtons . From then on the castle was mainly used as a prison . In 1543 Cardinal Beaton was held here for a month . Rebuilding started in the 1530s under the direction of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart who also worked at Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle . He was instructed to make the castle safe from artillery , and he achieved this by making the south and east walls very thick . A new tower was built at the south end . In the 1560s , in the reign of Mary Queen of Scots , a Spur was built to protect the main gate . In the 1870s the castle was the main ammunition depot for Scotland .The Castle is a popular location for historical re-enactments and has changed little in 600 years . Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

Hamlet has scenes filmed at Blackness Castle and Dunnottar Castle.
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Starring: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Paul Scofield, Alan Bates, Ian Holm, Helena Bonham Carter, John McEnery

Filming of the Outlander TV series has taken place in Scotland . One of Outlander’s first scenes was filmed in the picturesque town of Falkland, which stands in for Inverness in the 1940s . The show is based on American author Diana Gabaldon’s series of historical novels, which sees nurse Claire Beauchamp Randell mysteriously swept back from 1945 to 1743 Highland Scotland
 .  Falkland features some familiar sights from the TV series , including  Mrs Baird’s Guesthouses (actually the Covenanter Hotel), the Bruce Fountain where Claire comes across the ghost of Jamie, and the building that doubles as Farrell’s Hardware and Furniture Store.
Most of the filming will take place in Scotland,  according to the show’s executive producer Ron Moore . 
Scotland’s stunning landscape, with its rolling hills, rugged mountains, picturesque towns and villages, castles and sprawling beaches has provided the perfect backdrop for the world of cinema.
The show is based on American author Diana Gabaldon’s series of historical novels, which sees nurse Claire Beauchamp Randell mysteriously swept back from 1945 to 1743 Highland Scotland where rebellion and romance are afoot.  Executive Producer Ron Moore has commented on Scotland : “The landscape itself is a character in the show. There’s a particular quality to the light in Scotland, even to the grass and the trees.” 
Outlander season 2 is expected to premiere sometime in the first half of 2016

The tour spends an hour at each location .

  • Travel by luxury car
  • Small private group tour with a maximum of 4 people

Tour costs – £200 for up to 4 people .

Lunch , refreshments and entrance tickets are not included in the price.

Outlander set locations tour from Edinburgh £200

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Outlander giveaway

Outlander Giveaway! 

To coincide with the latest series of Outlander, here’s a chance to win some amazing prizes from locations featured in the show. Like to enter and please share to spread the word!

Outlander effect
Locations & prizes:
 Callendar House Festive Afternoon Tea for 2
 Family ticket for 4 to Living Christmas Nativity Farm Tour (any date) at Muiravonside Country Park
 Family entry to Blackness Castle (2 adults & 6 children)
 Family ticket to Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway (valid for 1 year, can’t be used on Santa Trains or Day out with Thomas)
 “Midhope and more – Memories from Outlander Filming Locations” by Mary’s Meanders in conjunction with The Edinburgh Sketch.The winner will be chosen at random and announced on the 30th of October at 5pm. Good luck! Find out about all these attractions and more at www.visitfalkirk.com

Outlander series 3 – Jamie and Lord John Grey

In what proved to be a tender moment on Season 3 of Outlander, Jamie (Sam Heughan) offered himself to Lord John Grey (David Berry) to ensure the safety of his son, Willie. Although the scene was well done given its complexity – Grey is a closeted soldier while Jamie was sexually abused in Season 1 – Berry admitted it was challenging to pull off in such a short time frame.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Berry revealed the sex offer was tricky for him and Heughan, and required a few rewrites to get perfect. Berry explained how they wanted viewers to buy into the idea that Jamie would do everything in his power to keep Willie safe, even if that meant essentially getting raped by Grey. In the books, the scene in question takes place over several chapters. The show, however, had to condense that down to a few quick scenes, which made everything more complicated.

“It was important for both Sam and I to endow Jamie’s proposal with as much sincerity as possible so that we could then subvert the expectations of the audience when Grey rejects him. And for Grey it was important for the rejection not to seem cruel but come from a place of honor and compassion for Jamie,” Berry shared. “This helps the audience to understand the depth of their friendship. Grey loves Jamie but would never abuse or transgress his friendship with Jamie for his own selfish purposes.”

Speaking of Jamie’s sacrifice for his son, Outlander executive producer Matthew B. Roberts recently opened up about casting Clark Butler for the role. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Roberts explained how it didn’t take long for them to cast Willie and how they were not looking for somebody who resembled Jamie. Instead, they picked an actor who was best for the character, and Butler immediately stood out above the rest.

Roberts also revealed that casting has undergone a lot of changes over the past few years. Most of the casting is now done online, and the entire crew can review auditions on their own time. Fortunately for Butler, everyone quickly agreed that he was the perfect fit for the role.

While Butler did a great job as Willie in episode four, titled “Of Lost Things,” we won’t be seeing much of his character for the remainder of the season. Willie was part of a handful of characters who were quickly introduced and sent away during the installment, including Isobel Dunsany, Geneva Dunsany – whom Jamie slept with to keep his identity safe – and Lord Ellesmere.

Melrose Abbey is declared a world-class attraction


Melrose Abbey
Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey has been declared world class and one of Scotland’s best visitor attractions. Independent quality assurance inspectors from VisitScotland have awarded it the coveted five-star status after examining every aspect of the visitor experience. This means the three staffed Borders Abbeys cared for by Historic Scotland, and Smailholm Tower, are all now five-star attractions. Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, Michael Russell, said:  “You can’t get better than five star, so this is a brilliant achievement by the staff at Melrose.  It now means that all Historic Scotland paid attractions in the Borders are of five star status.  All the staff at the attractions have worked very hard to get and to keep this level of quality across the region.  This is a great achievement for the staff locally, for the heritage agency overall and something we can be very proud of.”
Melrose Abbey has a lot to celebrate this year as its visitor figures for the year so far have jumped by 15.6% compared to 2008 – an absolutely tremendous performance.”
Between April and the end of August the abbey attracted 33,558 visitors compared to 29,025.  Historic Scotland had a campaign earlier this year which offered a special price for membership especially for the Year of Homecoming 2009.  The campaign proved an enormous success due, the agency believe, to many people having “staycations ” – staying at home for holidays –  and looking for value for money family days out.  Melrose Abbey may be benefiting from this extra emphasis on value from  families suffering from the credit crunch.
The abbey had previously been a four-star attraction, but it has improved its rating thanks to the introduction of new and more modern information boards, material and information for visitors. VisitScotland has operated a quality assurance inspection scheme for visitor attractions since 1995.  The scheme gives an independent quality assurance award and incorporates the inspection of properties for Thistle tourist signposting. There are five quality grades for the standard of facilities and services following the assessment of the appropriate areas.
Historic Scotland is one of the two main organisations which run Scotland’s castles and historic Scotland , the other one being the National Trust for Scotland . HS is a  government agency which has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the top tourist attractions in Scotland, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places
Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment. Historic Scotland has been a  major supporter of the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.